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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36775
Experience:  Over twenty-five years experience
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I suspect my ex husband has gone to london to stay with his

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I suspect my ex husband has gone to london to stay with his girlfriend and son, I have asked him twice but he has ignored the question. I am really worried he is doing this and putting our children who are with me for the week at risk, and me also, as they will go back to stay with him next week. We have shared parental responsibility with no court order. Do I have the right to ask that he sticks to the guidelines, are the new rules of no overnight stays and no closer contact than 2m with people not within your household enforceable. How can i stop him going back and forth between households?

Is there a court order?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No court order.

Let me see if I can help and please rate 5 stars. You do have a right to ask him to ensure he complies with the Covid19 guidance. He would be breaking the law by failing to comply. If you have fears then you would be within your rights to prevent contact (you should ensure that there is FaceTime or telephone contact).

If the child is in your care you can seek for the child stay at this time. The government have given further guidance which suggests that you should where possible comply with the court order. Government guidance issued alongside the Stay at Home Rules on 23rd March deals specifically with child contact arrangements. It says:

“Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.”

This establishes an exception to the mandatory ‘stay at home’ requirement; it does not, however, mean that children must be moved between homes. The decision whether a child is to move between parental homes is for the child’s parents to make after a sensible assessment of the circumstances, including the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other. More generally, the best way to deal with these difficult times will be for parents to communicate with one another about their worries, and what they think would be a good, practical solution. Many people are very worried about Coronavirus and the health of themselves, their children and their extended family. Even if some parents think it is safe for contact to take place, it might be entirely reasonable for the other parent to be genuinely worried about this. Where parents, acting in agreement, exercise their parental responsibility to conclude that the arrangements set out in a CAO should be temporarily varied they are free to do so. It would be sensible for each parent to record such an agreement in a note, email or text message sent to each other. Where parents do not agree to vary the arrangements set out in a CAO, but one parent is sufficiently concerned that complying with the CAO arrangements would be against current PHE/PHW advice, then that parent may exercise their parental responsibility and vary the arrangement to one that they consider to be safe. If, after the event, the actions of a parent acting on their own in this way are questioned by the other parent in the Family Court, the court is likely to look to see whether each parent acted reasonably and sensibly in the light of the official advice and the Stay at Home Rules in place at that time, together with any specific evidence relating to the child or family. Where, either as a result of parental agreement or as a result of one parent on their own varying the arrangements, a child does not get to spend time with the other parent as set down in the CAO, the courts will expect alternative arrangements to be made to establish and maintain regular contact between the child and the other parent within the Stay at Home Rules, for example remotely – by Face-Time, WhatsApp Face-Time, Skype, Zoom or other video connection or, if that is not possible, by telephone. I hope this helps and please rate 5 stars

Justanswer works on a rating system and so that I can close this question can you please rate. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page.This is how Justanswer works. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. But this lets me close the case and not need to email you again. If you need more assistance, please use the reply box below and let me know. It has been my pleasure to assist you! Many thanks​

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